HRCM: Asseyri Prison unit unfit for detention of juveniles

HRCM members at a press conference. (Photo/HRCM)

Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) states that the juvenile detention facility in Asseyri Prison in K. Hinmafushi is unfit for detention of juveniles. 

HRCM, in a statement on Wednesday, said its investigations found the juvenile detention facility in Asseyri Prison does not provide juveniles with the rights and protections guaranteed to them under the Maldivian Constitution and international laws and conventions. 

The human rights watchdog referred to Child Rights Protection Act, Juvenile Justice Act, Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (Beijing Rules), CRC Committee’s general comment no. 24 (Children’s Rights in the Juvenile Justice System), and United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (Nelson Mandela Rules). 

HRCM said that the commission, during a visit to the Asseyri Prison from November 8-10, 2020, was told by Maldives Correctional Service that a new juvenile detention facility under construction at the prison would be completed within three months. 

HRCM visited the prison again on September 16, and found work on the facility remained incomplete. 

HRCM said it therefore instructed Maldives Correctional Service on October 14 to transfer the juveniles in Asseyri Prison to a safer location within 30 days, and to immediately cease detention of juveniles at the prison. 

Maldives Correctional Service has also been instructed to share a plan for the transfer to juveniles at the prison with the commission.